Snynet Solution Logo
MON - SUN: 10 AM - 6 PM
+60 11 5624 8319

Blog

10 Oct 2021

Intel Core i9-12900K CPU leak suggests it could be a Ryzen 5950X killer

Intel’s Core i9-12900K has been spotted in yet more Alder Lake leakage, with another spilled benchmark suggesting that we’ll get promising performance from the 12th-gen flagship.

This comes from Twitter-based hardware leaker HXL (again) who flagged up a couple of purported benchmarks on Bilibili, showing the 12900K put through its paces on Cinebench R20 and CPU-Z.

See more

As observed, the benchmarks were carried out under Windows 11 with DDR4 system RAM, using a QS or qualification sample (meaning it’s the final pre-release version and should be pretty much identical to the retail chip).

In Cinebench R20, the Core i9-12900K’s single-threaded performance proved to be almost 20% faster than the 11900K, and the same story was true in CPU-Z (actually the 12900K was 21% faster here).

In multi-threaded testing with Cinebench, the 12900K was 65% faster than the 11900K, and just a smidge faster than the AMD Ryzen 9 5950X. With CPU-Z, the Alder Lake flagship was 75% better than the 11900K, and very close to the 5950X (the AMD chip was 3% quicker here, so just marginally had the edge).


Analysis: Eye-opening performance once again

We must, of course, apply the usual caveats and caution around any leaked benchmarks, but this is yet another promising set of leaked results for Alder Lake. That single-core performance beating out current-gen Rocket Lake by 20% across two benchmarks is quite an eye-opener, and multi-core speeds roughly equalling the Ryzen 9 5950X are also seriously impressive (single-threaded performance is much better than the Ryzen chip, too, to the tune of 27% and 18% faster in CPU-Z and  Cinebench respectively).

Another point to bear in mind here is that the 5950X is a 16-core CPU bristling with 32-threads, compared to the 12900K’s purported configuration of 24-threads (it’ll run with 8 full-power performance cores, and 8 efficiency ones, with the latter not having hyper-threading). So the Ryzen chip has an 8-thread advantage here, and remember, the final retail 12900K chip could do better still, particularly if paired with DDR5 RAM (DDR4 is used in this round of testing as noted).

If there’s one area for a touch of concern at first glance, it’s the power consumption hitting 257W in the stress test here, and temperatures reaching 108C – but that’s to do with the apparently fudged cooling solution (it wasn’t properly mounted) the leaker had to employ here. In other words, take that with a whole lot of condiments, and the thermal performance of the actual finished product will be a whole lot better (likely in the same ballpark as the 11900K).

Overall, this is a very promising leak for Intel, and yet another one which seems to suggest that Alder Lake could be a real headache for AMD and its desktop Ryzen dominance.

Via Wccftech

Read more...
10 Oct 2021

How two wedding dress companies sued a top security firm for copyright infringement and lost

Website security company Cloudflare has won a copyright infringement lawsuit filed against it by two US wedding dress companies.

Mon Cheri Bridals and Maggie Sottero Designs acted after discovering several counterfeit websites using their content to sell dresses. Both companies claimed that Cloudflare was guilty of contributory copyright infringement as the firm did not end the services for websites that infringed on the dressmakers' copyrighted designs.

The dressmakers filed their lawsuit back in 2018, but now, almost three years later, US District Judge Vince Chhabria has ruled that Cloudflare did not materially contribute to the alleged infringement.

TechRadar Pro reached out to Cloudflare, which declined to comment - although in a blog post, the company said: "While we cannot prevent online infringement, we’ve set up abuse processes to assist copyright holders address the issue by connecting them with the hosting providers and website operators actually able to take such content off the Internet."

Copyright infringement 

The lawsuit uncovered that most of the websites selling counterfeit versions of the dresses were situated in China, with an amended complaint listing hundreds of defendants with unknown names.

The wedding dress companies, which own the copyright for all the photographic images of the designs they sell, employed the help of Counterfeit Technology to identify more than 365 Cloudflare clients that contained, displayed, and used infringing and unauthorized copies of the dress makers copyrighted photographs using Cloudflare’s suite of services.

The suit pointed out that in Cloudflare’s terms and conditions, any violation of the law justifies termination of service and that "CloudFlare's policy is to investigate violations of these terms of service and terminate repeat infringers".

Ultimately, the wedding dress companies were relying on Cloudflare to deal with the counterfeit websites based on their terms and conditions.

Judge Chhabria added that there was no indication that Cloudflare's services were an essential step in the infringement process.

Read more...
10 Oct 2021

Quantum computing will assist search for life in deep space

Enterprise quantum software company Zapata Computing has partnered with UK’s University of Hull to leverage each other’s expertise to detect signatures of life in deep space.

The partnership will support research to repurpose Zapata’s quantum workflow platform Orquestra in order to assist in the development of highly accurate astrophysical models and applications.

“Although quantum computers are an emergent technology and cannot yet outperform classical hardware, Zapata has made it possible to generate valuable insights from the Noisy Intermediate-Scale Quantum (NISQ) devices currently available,” said Dr. David Benoit, senior lecturer in Molecular Physics and Astrochemistry at the University of Hull.

Dr Benoit added that Orquestra enables the researchers to build future-proof applications that don’t just work with NISQ devices today, but are also capable of leveraging the more powerful quantum computing devices of the future.

Improving model accuracy

Sharing details about hope the researchers plan to leverage Zapata’s quantum expertise, the researchers explain that they want to build on top of the work of MIT researchers who in 2016 drew up a list of over 14,000 molecules that could indicate signs of life in exoplanets’ atmospheres. 

The University of Hull researchers now aim to generate a database of detectable biological signatures of these molecules by using new computational models of molecular rotations and vibrations. However, little is currently known about how these molecules vibrate and rotate in response to infrared radiation generated by nearby stars. 

In order to detect them, the researchers need to build highly accurate models based on extremely accurate calculations, which is touted as one of the forte’s of quantum computing.

“The research being done by Dr. Benoit and his colleagues has the potential to redefine our place in the universe, and we’re humbled that Orquestra will have a supporting role,” said Christopher Savoie, CEO and co-founder of Zapata Computing.

Orquestra evaluation for the research is currently scheduled to run for eight weeks before the team publishes an analysis of the research. 

Read more...
10 Oct 2021

New iPad 2022: what we want to see

The new iPad 10.2 (2021) has only recently landed, but it’s never too early to start thinking about the next model, which – since we’re not sure of the screen size yet – we’re just calling the new iPad 2022 for now.

There’s little in the way of news about Apple’s next entry-level slate yet, but we can predict some things, and you’ll find those below, covering the possible release date, price, and some of the specs and features.

Then further down we’ve included a wish list of what we want to see from the new iPad 2022 to make it the best budget iPad possible. And make sure to check back regularly, as we’ll be updating this article whenever we hear any news or rumors about this tablet.

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? The next cheap tablet from Apple
  • When is it out? Probably September 2022
  • How much will it cost? Likely around $329 / £319 / AU$499

New iPad 2022 release date and price

We don’t know when the new iPad 2022 will be announced but we can take a good guess, as the iPad 10.2 (2021) was unveiled on September 14, the iPad 10.2 (2020) was announced on September 15 of its launch year, and the iPad 10.2 (2019) on September 12. You’re probably noticing a pattern here.

They were all announced around the middle of September, and in the last two years they were also announced on a Tuesday, so if we had to get more specific we’d guess the new iPad 2022 will be announced on Tuesday September 13, 2022.

The time between announcement and availability is more variable, but it’s unlikely to be more than a couple of weeks, so we’d think the new iPad 2022 would hit stores before the end of September 2022, and possibly even within a few days of its announcement.

As for the price, the iPad 10.2 (2021) starts at $329 / £319 / AU$499, and the iPad 10.2 (2020) had a similar starting price, so we’d think roughly the same again is likely, but there’s no news on that yet.

The back of the Apple iPad 10.2 (2021) on a pile of books

Expect a similar price to the iPad 10.2 (2021) (Image credit: TechRadar)

News and leaks

There’s no news yet on the new iPad 2022, but one thing we can be fairly confident of is that it will stick with an LCD screen.

There was some suggestion that Apple might switch to OLED for the iPad Air 5, but recent reports suggest that isn’t happening, and either way there was no mention of the basic iPad getting this display tech.

There also probably won’t be any significant changes to the front-facing camera, as that’s only just had a big upgrade for the latest model.

The chipset is sure to be better though, with Apple likely to equip the new iPad 2022 with the A14 Bionic from the iPhone 12 range based on past form.

Two things that could go either way are the design, which might be modernized in line with all Apple’s other iPad ranges, and 5G, which may or may not be included. We’d think by 2022 it will be due, but the iPad Air 4 (2020) doesn’t have 5G either, so Apple might add that to the iPad Air 5 but leave it off the basic iPad for another year.

What we want to see

To make the new iPad 2022 as good as possible we want it to have the following things.

1. Face ID

The lack of Face ID on the new iPad 10.2 (2021) isn’t overly surprising given that Apple currently reserves this tech for the iPad Pro range. But over in iPhone land it’s basically now a standard feature and has been for years, so we’d like to see the company make it standard on iPads too.

We don’t particularly expect the new iPad 2022 to get Face ID, since it will presumably be last in line for it, with the iPad Air and iPad mini ranges likely to get it first, but it would be nice to see.

This tech has been around so long that it doesn’t feel like it should need to be a premium feature anymore, so Apple, stop holding it back.

2. A modern design

The basic iPad range is now alone in being the only tablet range from Apple that doesn’t include a modern design with smaller bezels and no home button, with even the iPad mini (2021) sporting this look.

Instead, you’re stuck with a very dated and relatively cheap appearance on the iPad 10.2 (2021), and it’s one that we want to see gone with the new iPad 2022.

3. Support for recent accessories

The Apple iPad 10.2 (2021) with the smart keyboard attached, with an Apple Pencil resting on the keyboard, outside

The iPad 10.2 (2021) has limited accessory support (Image credit: TechRadar)

The iPad 10.2 (2021) supports the original Apple Pencil and the Smart Keyboard, but it lacks support for the Apple Pencil 2 and the Magic Keyboard, making it less good both for typing and sketching than it could be – or than other Apple tablets are.

Supporting these accessories shouldn’t be hard, and we wouldn’t think they’d add much if anything to Apple’s costs, so there’s really no reason to block the iPad 2022 off from them.

4. Recalibrating speakers

The iPad 10.2 (2021) doesn’t have bad speakers, but unlike the iPad mini (2021) and the iPad Air 4, they don’t recalibrate based on the orientation of the tablet.

With one of those tablets then you’ll be getting the best from the speakers whether you use the slate in portrait or landscape orientation, but not here. Hopefully, Apple fixes that for the next model.

5. 128GB base size

With the iPad 10.2 (2021) Apple upgraded the base storage size from the pathetically tiny 32GB of the iPad 10.2 (2020), to a still rather small 64GB.

We know this is a cheap slate, so the company wants to keep the cost down as much as possible, but 64GB is a just barely acceptable amount of storage in 2021, let alone 2022 when the next model is expected. So we want to see the new iPad 2022 start with 128GB of storage, especially as there’s no microSD card slot.

Read more...
10 Oct 2021

The unlikely CEO beating Teams and Zoom at their own game

Jim Szafranski never really wanted to become a CEO; it was something that seemed to happen to him, rather than something he deliberately made happen. But as it turns out, he has a knack for it.

Szafranski took over at visual communications company Prezi roughly eighteen months ago to preside over a change of direction, replacing founder Peter Arvai. Previously, the firm had specialized in design and presentation software, but has now turned its attention to video presentations.

Prezi had already begun to lay the foundations for this shift before the pandemic, but remote working saw demand skyrocket for a service that could help people create and deliver professional virtual presentations. The company put its foot on the gas and Prezi Video is now its flagship product.

As one of the main architects of the Prezi Video project, and as someone who had worked with the video conferencing titans (such as Microsoft and Google) in a previous life, Szafranski found himself next in line for the throne.

The right person for the job

Although he has now acclimatized to the level and breadth of responsibility that falls on the shoulders of a chief executive, Szafranski told TechRadar Pro he sometimes found himself doubting his suitability for the role.

While he had always been a student of both business and technology, and had racked up many years of experience at an executive level, he was to some extent blindsided by the opportunity when it presented itself.

“I love to learn, so I always tried to put myself in a position where I could learn from my environment and the people around me. And I kind of let the growth take care of itself,” he explained.

“But when I joined Prezi, the plan wasn’t that I would someday take over from Peter [Arvai] - that wasn’t even a discussion. The focus was on scaling the business and building out functions like sales and marketing.”

After some consideration, Szafranski agreed to take on the post, giving himself and Arvai three months to put the necessary measures in place. The best piece of advice Szafranski received during this time, he says, was simply to be himself, and not to emulate the archetypal CEO of the movies.

“Obviously, the board of directors and previous CEO thought about this carefully and chose to elect me for the role. This advice was an important reminder to approach situations in the same way I have always done; to do what felt natural.”

Mercifully, stepping into the CEO role at Prezi has not required Szafranski to tear it all up and start again, because he had inherited the foundations of a healthy business. His task is only to steer in a slightly different direction.

Virtual presentations, but different

Szafranski is often quizzed about what makes Prezi Video different from regular virtual presentation services. With words alone, this question can be a little difficult to answer, but the difference becomes immediately apparent when you see the product in action.

Prezi Video sits like a veneer on top of video conferencing services (Zoom, Teams, Meet etc.), adding a layer of gloss and interactivity that makes presentations much more attractive to the eye.

Unlike with traditional screen-sharing, which conceals the presenter’s video feed, users can bring content onto the screen alongside them in the style of a news anchor. In turn, the presenter is able to see more of the other attendees, which is supposed to help them read the room in the same way they might in-person.

Prezi Video also allows users to interact with on-screen content in real-time, which makes presentations feel slick and polished. There’s no more “next slide, please”; the presenter becomes more like a conductor.

According to Szafranksi, these attributes go a long way to solving the various issues employees have encountered since the transition to remote working, from video conferencing fatigue to a feeling of disconnect with coworkers.

“Ultimately, Prezi Video is about creating a greater level of engagement,” he told us. “People are talking a lot about Zoom fatigue at the moment, but will still log off in the evening to watch a couple of hours of Netflix. Prezi brings TV-like engagement into your business.”

Prezi

Prezi video in action. (Image credit: Prezi)

Szafranski also sees products like Prezi Video playing a fundamental role as businesses emerge from the pandemic, by creating a stronger feeling of connection between meeting attendees spread across multiple locations. 

“The office was the great productivity hack, because it forced everyone into the same space at the same time. But we’re not going back to that,” he said.

“What has permanently changed is that there will be somebody outside the room at all times, and we’re all going to have to figure out how to hold effective meetings under these conditions.”

Further down the line, Szafranksi envisions Prezi moving into areas like virtual reality, which could open up a new realm of opportunity for interactivity, as well as bringing everyone into the same arena once again.

Looking to the future

As the world climbs out from underneath the pandemic, which brought about a period of extreme and unexpected growth for Prezi, Szafranski is thinking closely about how he can carry momentum forward.

His first step, he explained, has been to surround himself with an executive team capable of putting his vision into action. For example, his new CTO is an expert in content ingestion, having cut his teeth at image library Shutterstock, and Szafranski recently brought onboard a new SVP for Product Management to explore opportunities in immersive video and 3D.

These appointments were designed to prepare the company for a shift in gear. In addition to targeting SMBs and design departments, Szafranski says the goal is now to take Prezi organization-wide at some of the largest companies on the planet.

However, an important question hangs over these ambitions: why don’t the video conferencing giants, with all their money and resources, go out and develop identical functionality? The early warning signs are there; Microsoft recently rolled out a new reporter mode for Teams that allows users to appear in front of shared content.

But Szafranksi says copying Prezi is far more difficult than it might seem. He describes the company’s intellectual property as much more like a game engine (such as Unity) than a piece of software.

“What Prezi does that’s special is serve up content in very spacial ways, which creates much more interactive and layered experiences. And these qualities are certainly not trivial to recreate.”

The alternative for the video conferencing giants, of course, would be an acquisition. Asked whether he thought Microsoft or Zoom might swoop in for Prezi, Szafranski played it cool. It would be his responsibility to field all such offers, he told us, but for now his efforts are focused wholly on taking Prezi in the right direction.

Read more...
09 Oct 2021

Here's three more reasons to delay your Windows 11 upgrade

Early adopters of Windows 11 are set to face a number of challenges that both individuals and businesses should consider before making the switch, analyst firm Gartner has warned.

Speaking to TechRadar Pro over email, analyst Stephen Klenynhans explained that the level of risk associated with an early Windows 11 upgrade is “relatively moderate”, but sufficient enough to warrant consideration.

According to Klenyhans, the potential issues can be broken down into three broad categories: user experience, software compatibility and hardware support.

Over the next year, Microsoft is likely to make a number of tweaks to the Windows 11 user experience based on feedback, says Klenyhans. Therefore, diving straight into the new OS will mean “potentially experiencing two learning curves”.

A large part of the user experience will also be defined by software. Although few compatibility issues have been reported so far, many applications have not yet been fully optimized for the new operating system.

“This could mean that some applications will be getting updates during the next year to adopt more of the look and feel of Windows 11, and to leverage new capabilities. Again, this could mean additional disruption for users.”

Finally, Klenyhans says that early adopters are likely to face unexpected issues relating to hardware compatibility, even if their devices adhere to the strict new Windows 11 requirements

No matter how much testing has gone on behind the scenes, when a new OS is rolled out far and wide, “there are bound to be corner cases of various hardware configurations that will experience unexpected issues,” Klenyhans explained.

When should I upgrade to Windows 11?

Although it will be mightily tempting for businesses and regular users to launch straight into Windows 11 to take advantage of the new features and performance improvements, all the signs suggest patience will prove a virtue in this context.

Setting aside the potential risks cited by Klenyhans, there are various other problems that have already begun to manifest themselves. For example, bugs are already beginning to crop up post-launch; some users say they are experiencing poor Wi-Fi performance, some have found the Start menu search function is broken and others are encountering slowdown caused by memory issues.

Last week, chipmaker AMD also announced that Windows 11 is causing substantial performance drops (of up to 15%) across a range of its CPUs. Microsoft is reportedly working with the company to develop a fix.

The kinds of issues Kleynhans describes only add to the strength of the case against making an immediate switch to Windows 11, especially for risk-averse businesses.

“Overall, the risks of early adoption are small and likely manageable,” Kleynhans conceded. “However, I think most organizations don’t have a particularly compelling reason to rush this transition.”

“It is better to let the OS mature a little and have most rough edges polished off before investing too much effort in deployment.”

Read more...
09 Oct 2021

The world's most powerful 13-inch gaming laptop is now on sale for the first time

The Asus ROG Flow X13 is, quite possibly, the most powerful 13-inch gaming laptop on the market right now - and it's on sale for $1,349.99 (was $1,499.99) at Best Buy.

This is the first time we've seen this extremely popular (and unique) gaming laptop go on sale and needless to say the lowest price yet.

Featuring an absurdly powerful line-up of specs including an RTX 3050 Ti graphics card, 1TB SSD, 16GB of RAM, and AMD Ryzen 9 5900HS processor, the Asus ROG Flow X13 is a fantastic choice if you're looking for a lightweight machine that doesn't skimp on power.

It's also featuring a 120Hz display and 2-in-1 form factor - something that you literally won't find on any other gaming laptop (literally anywhere). Is it a gimmick? Well, we can't see many triple AAA titles making use of the touchscreen, but it's great if you want to kick back and play with a controller - simply turn that keyboard on its face and use it as a handy stand. 

Of course, being a 13.4-inch laptop means you won't get quite the same gaming performance as the usual 15.6-inch machines - it is, after all, running on way less power. That said, as a lightweight machine for video editing, music production, and other intensive tasks (with a bit of gaming on the side), it's an incredibly compelling option.

Gaming laptop deals: Asus ROG Flow

Asus ROG Flow X13 2-in-1 gaming laptop: $1,499.99 $1,349.99 at Best Buy
Save $150 -
Here's the first-ever price cut on Asus' stunning new ROG Flow model - the most powerful 13.4-inch gaming laptop on the market right now and the first to feature a nifty 2-in-1 form factor. With an RTX 3050 Ti, 16GB of RAM, 1TB SSD, and AMD Ryzen 9 5900HS, this machine is superbly capable for its size and a worthwhile investment if you value that portability.

  • Best Buy - see all of this retailer's gaming laptop deals today

13-inch gaming laptops are a real rarity, with the longstanding Razer Blade Stealth 13 being the only serious competitor to the Asus ROG Flow X13. Both are superb choices if you're looking for that premium ultrabook that'll handle a bit of gaming on the side, but when it comes to overall power (and value), Asus has Razer beat in our books.

Not only does the Flow X13 have a more powerful CPU (Ryzen 8 vs Core i7), graphics card (RTX 3050 Ti vs GTX 1650), but it's also cheaper (the Blade 13 is $1,799). Plus, it also features that versatile 2-in-1 form factor. In short, it's absolutely awesome value for what you're getting.

Outside the US? See the best gaming laptop deals in your region just below.


Read more...
09 Oct 2021

How do malware removal tools work?

Malware removal software is an important part of the armory of tools that can be used to defend your PC from being compromised by a malicious payload of one kind or another.

If you’re wondering how anti-malware tools differ from antivirus, we cover that in-depth elsewhere, but suffice it to say that malware removal apps offer a much more focused kind of protection against malware, and the facilities to rid your system of an infection.

But how do these applications work exactly? Read on for our full examination of how malware removal tools protect your device and what to expect if you install one of these utilities on your system.


Malwarebytes Premium is today's best anti-malware tool
Save 25% on your security
Sometimes free software just isn't enough. Malwarebytes Premium is reasonably priced and uses heuristic analysis to identify new strains of malware, cleans up existing infections, helps protect you from phishing scams, and helps stop you downloading further malicious software.

Save 25% | $39.99 $29.99

On-demand scanning

As with an antivirus app, when installed on your machine, a piece of anti-malware software will give you the ability to scan the system to check if any malware is present.

There’ll be a ‘Scan’ button on the main menu of the app (most likely, or a submenu perhaps), and simply clicking on that will scan your drive(s) and memory. Just the same as with an antivirus, the malware removal tool will have (regularly updated) definitions of common malware. It’ll look for matches based on the content of this library of definitions, and if anything is found on your PC, that will (obviously) be flagged as malicious.

That will happen in a post-scan report, where any suspect discoveries are highlighted, and you’ll get the option to quarantine these offenders (or indeed malware might be automatically quarantined). Quarantining, as you might expect, is the banishment of a file to a cordoned-off area of the system, where it can no longer reach or harm your device or data.

Malwarebytes Threat Scan Result

(Image credit: Malwarebytes)

As well as malware, Potentially Unwanted Programs (known as PUPs for short) may be reported in scan results, which are, as the name suggests, apps that you might not want on your system (a good anti-malware app will explain why they’re possibly undesirable). These don’t have to be quarantined, as they’re not actively doing any harm, so it’s up to you whether to take action on those. (You’re better safe than sorry in these cases, more than likely, but occasionally legitimate apps can be flagged, and you may want to ignore warnings in these cases).

This on-demand scanning is present with all anti-malware software, and one approach that some folks take is to install a freebie malware removal app just to sit on their system as a backup to a primary antivirus.

In other words, the tactic here is to rely on the antivirus in the main, but to run a manual scan with a second line of defense – the anti-malware – every now and then, just to see if it picks up on anything that the antivirus could have missed. That might only be a PUP, and not outright malware, but still, it could be something that you don’t want on your system, and would otherwise have sat there if you hadn’t plumped for a second opinion.

Real-time defenses

Malware removal software can give you more than just on-demand scanning, though, and some apps offer real-time defenses in the same vein as an antivirus. Real-time protection simply means that the anti-malware tool has a constant shield up, scrutinizing every file being introduced onto your system (and the processes currently running) for anything suspicious.

That gives you more watertight protection, and means you can run an anti-malware app as your frontline protection against malware, with no need for an antivirus (at least in theory).

Obviously it helps if you choose one of the best tools of this purpose, such as our current top-ranked pick Malwarebytes. Its premium version sports real-time protection, backed up by heuristics (monitoring for malware-like behavior, to catch threats which are brand new and not yet included in the program’s library of malware definitions).

Malwarebytes Premium Main Menu

(Image credit: Malwarebytes)

Remember that anti-malware is built to major in such behavioral detection, and finding fresh threats that an antivirus might miss. You also get web defenses (against phishing and other online scams) for safer browsing, plus anti-ransomware tech – a broader level of protection, in other words, from the paid Malwarebytes app (as you might expect).

All that said, it’s still true that the best antivirus apps may offer a more accurate malware detection engine – at the time of writing, that is indeed the case according to the independent test labs, although Malwarebytes is rated solidly enough for overall protection – so you may prefer to run one of our best antivirus picks backed up by the free version of Malwarebytes (or your preferred anti-malware choice) for on-demand duties.

How do malware removal tools work?

Whatever the case, anti-malware apps offer a laser-focused protection against malware (and the likes of PUPs), and as we’ve seen, the good ones can work on multiple levels just like antivirus – with on-demand, plus real-time protection backed with heuristic tech – running the gamut of defensive countermeasures against all the nastiness out there, including ransomware, phishing and more.

Read more...
09 Oct 2021

AMD RX 6600 GPU leaked benchmark could disappoint gamers

AMD’s Radeon RX 6600 is purportedly set to launch next week, and the graphics card has been spotted benchmarked in 3DMark, giving us another glimpse of the potential gaming performance on offer.

This leaked benchmark, flagged by leaker HXL on Twitter – as ever with any such spillage, take it with some skepticism – shows the vanilla RX 6600 in the Time Spy test hitting a graphics score of 8,155 (with an overall result of 8,612).

See more

As VideoCardz, which spotted this, points out, compared to some other existing benchmarks (from Hot Hardware), the RX 6600 trails Nvidia’s RTX 3060 by around 350 points (meaning Nvidia is the best part of 5% faster).

VideoCardz also highlighted previously leaked figures which are supposedly from AMD’s own internal benchmarking, showing that over a raft of games, the RX 6600 appears to be roughly equal to the RTX 3060 – it was behind in some titles, and a little ahead in a few. Of course, potentially cherry-picked internal benchmarking scenarios need to be regarded with caution anyway (doubly so when it’s a leak).

The RX 6600 is expected to debut on October 13 according to the rumor mill, coming as a lower-priced counterpart to the existing RX 6600 XT. It’s believed to have 1,792 stream processors, and that’ll be the major point of spec differentiation compared to the XT version which has 2,048. Clock speeds will be slightly slower too, though, if the rumor mill is right (to the tune of 100MHz or so less for max boost), with the 6600 expected to pack 8GB of GDDR6 VRAM.


Analysis: Don’t write this GPU off yet, by any means

The leaked 3DMark result feels a little disappointing, assuming it’s genuine, but even if it is, then it’s still only one benchmark – and from a pre-release card at that (final drivers with optimizations will likely make a difference, for example).

What we also don’t know is the price, and as well as performance, this will obviously be key as to how the RX 6600 stacks up in terms of value proposition compared to Nvidia GPUs.

Unfortunately, the buzz on the grapevine is that pricing may not be so much on the favorable side, but let’s reserve judgement until we actually see the card released, hopefully next week if the rumors are right. At the very least, having more units of a good 1080p GPU out there will be a good thing, even if pricing – or the price retailers end up charging – isn’t all that enticing…

Read more...
09 Oct 2021

Why are laptop webcams still so awful and when will it change?

A new laptop from Chinese tech company Honor has shipped with an industry first that went, well, almost unnoticed. 

The MagicBook V14 is the first laptop to come with a 5-megapixel camera with a 90-degree ultra-wide angle camera. A handful of other devices like the HP Elite Dragonfly Max business laptop also have 5-megapixel cameras but (a) they’re likely to be 2-in-1 convertible laptops and (b) they still account for a tiny fraction of the market.

So why is it that, in this day and age where hybrid working is all the rage, where Microsoft Teams, Zoom and Google Meet are household names and even mainstream smartphones (like the Infinix Zero 8) boast a selfie camera with 48-megapixel resolution, do laptop owners have to put up with VGA webcams (yes VGA)?

VGA, for those below a certain age, refers to an antiquated, obsolete, bygone resolution of 640 by 480 pixels (or 307,000 pixels in all). It was mainstream towards the end of the last century (the 1990s) but has somehow managed to still find its way into at least one laptop launched in 2021 - namely, the Lenovo V17-IIL.

While, there might be a funny side in seeing yourself on-screen as a Minecraft character, it’s not a sentiment shared by many. 

One of the best selling computer products of the past two years has been the humble webcam. The pandemic has shown that millions of people are not happy with the quality of the picture captured by integrated laptop webcams and sadly, that’s not something which will change soon.

HD leads the way

Our sample survey of 50 laptops currently on sale at Dell, Lenovo and HP - across gaming, consumer and business ranges - painted a bleak picture. 

Dell had no laptops with webcams with a higher resolution than 720p (about one million pixels), and that includes its most expensive laptop, the $5,339 Dell Precision 7760 Data Science Workstation. Lenovo didn’t fare better even for its mega expensive $5,159 ThinkPad P17 Gen 2 mobile workstation, and ditto for HP and Apple.

As it stands, HD webcam represents the norm - not an exception - in a laptop launched in 2021. It’s the equivalent of having a CD-ROM drive on your laptop - it used to be cool but it is just an embarrassment these days. So why no change?

Well, there’s the laws of physics, apathy and priorities. Pre-pandemic, webcam quality on laptops was far down the priority list because, most people met in real life and video conferencing was either done primarily in meeting rooms or on one’s smartphone, both delivering vastly better quality.

That convinced vendors like Dell to stick to HD technology and shrink it to create ultra-portable laptops with tiny bezels like the award-winning XPS 13. Others, like Honor, have decided to hide the webcam altogether in a pop-up key on your keyboard. A couple - like Asus - went even further and eliminated the webcam altogether because… why not?

The laws of physics and (generally speaking) capitalism as a whole also made the shift to multi-megapixel laptop webcams complicated. Phones tend to be thicker than laptop lids and laptop webcam modules tend to be horizontal (to fit in the bezel), not vertical (like for smartphones). So until there’s enough demand for laptop webcam modules with smartphone-like sensors, the transition won’t happen.

Then there’s the reviewer and user apathy: HD webcams are the norm so reviews and users do not tend to highlight (or consider) it as an anomaly. It’s only when we, reviewers, act as a catalyst for change and start to highlight this as an aberration that readers will take notice and hopefully pressure vendors.

cheap gaming laptop deals: Asus ROG Strix G17

The Asus ROG Strix G17 doesn't have a webcam, a choice that divided users. (Image credit: Asus)

So what comes next?

Huawei and Honor are the only ones that dared put the webcam into a pop up key and the least we can say is that it’s not proving to be a popular option because of the fixed camera angle. Other alternatives could include having a thicker bezel, under display or punch hole cameras.

At the end of the day, it will be down to the consumers to vote with their wallets. Enhancements to camera capabilities on smartphones have provided some compelling unique selling points to the likes of Huawei. Could someone replicate the same on laptops? The jury is out.

Read more...
08 Oct 2021

Microsoft to disable old-school macros to shield users from attacks

Microsoft has revealed its plan to disable Excel 4.0 macros or XLM macros for all Microsoft 365 users in a recent email sent out to its customers.

First introduced back in 1992 with the release of Excel 4.0, XLM macros allow users of the company's spreadsheet software to enter complex formulas inside Excel cells capable of executing commands both in the program itself and in a Windows computer's local file system. Although XLM macros were replaced by VBA-based macros when Excel 5.0 was released, Microsoft has continued supporting this legacy feature over the years.

Although macros are convenient for Excel users, they have also been repeatedly abused by cybercriminals in their attacks. This is because, once enabled in a malicious document, they can give a threat actor additional control over a user's system to install malware or carry out other attacks.

With more people working from home than ever before last year, there was a huge uptick in the number of malware strains and cybercriminals abusing XLM macros in their attacks. Things got so bad that Microsoft even went to the trouble of adding XLM macro support to Microsoft 365's Antimalware Scan Interface (AMS) in March of this year in an effort to help antivirus software deal with these kinds of attacks.

Disabled by default

Following request from software companies that XLM Macros be disabled by default inside its office software, Microsoft is now tackling the issue head on.

In a recent email sent to Microsoft 365 customers, the company laid out its plan to disable the feature across three stages according to The Record. The feature will be disabled by default for Microsoft 365 Insiders beginning at the end of this month, those on the current channel will see it disabled in early November and the Monthly Enterprise Channel (MEC) will have XLM macros disabled by default in December.

These efforts may not be enough for security researchers though as they are now asking Microsoft to also disable VBA macros as default.

If you want XLM macros disabled now, you should check out this support document from Microsoft which lays out exactly how to remove the feature from Excel.

Via The Record

Read more...
08 Oct 2021

Google will give free security keys to 'high risk' users

In an effort to further protect the accounts of high risk users, Google has announced that it will be giving away 10,000 security keys to those most likely to fall victim to targeted attacks in 2021.

Unlike regular cyberattacks, targeted cyberattacks are deliberately aimed at high profile individuals and groups according to a new blog post from the search giant.

While Google has an entire team dedicated to stopping the world's most sophisticated cybercriminals and its Advanced Protection Program (APP) offers increased protection from these types of attacks, some high risk users still aren't doing enough to protect themselves online.

APP, which launched in 2017, is available to all users but the program was specifically designed for individuals and organizations at higher risk of targeted online attacks including elected officials, political campaigns, human rights activists and journalists.

Raising awareness

As part of Google's work to keep its users safe and increase awareness of APP, the search giant has partnered with organizations worldwide to provide security keys to over 10,000 high risk users throughout 2021.

One of the organizations the company is collaborating with in this effort is the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) which engages with critical issues in democracy, governance and elections around the world. So far this year, Google has supported IFES with free security keys for attendees of its global cyber hygiene training sessions including journalists in the Middle East and female activists. The company plans to expand on this work next year by providing Titan Security Keys and educational materials for IFES' high risk user trainings.

During the 2020 US election, Google began working with the nonprofit and nonpartisan organization Defending Digital Campaigns (DCC) to distribute its security keys to more than 180 eligible federal campaigns. By the time the midterm elections begin in 2022, DDC will have completed bipartisan cybersecurity training sessions in all 50 states.

If you are a high risk user worried about targeted cyberattacks or just looking to improve your overall security posture, signing up for Google's Advanced Protection Program is free and only take a few minutes.

Read more...
08 Oct 2021

Microsoft may finally make the Surface Pro more repairable

Microsoft has always been unwavering on its repair policies in the past. However, the tech giant is considering supporting more research and policies so users can more easily repair devices like the Surface Pro 8 and its other Windows tablets, after receiving pressure from an investors group.

In June 2021, the company held an investor’s meeting with investor advocacy nonprofit As You Sow. The results of that meeting cemented Microsoft’s commitment to researching the “environmental and social benefits” making it easier for users to repair their own devices. This would include making parts, information, and other resources more readily available to consumers.

This is the first time a US manufacturer has agreed to such conditions after investor pressure, but most likely won’t be the last if recent patterns are any indication. For example, back in September mutual fund company Green Century filed two right-to-repair resolutions. The first was with Apple and the second was with Deere & Co., an agricultural equipment manufacturer.

What does this mean?

Microsoft agreed to look into how 'right to repair' would affect its contributions to climate change and electronic waste, with the study evaluating the social impacts and serving to “determine new mechanisms to increase access to repair, including for Surface devices and Xbox consoles," as stated by a recent news release from As You Sow. Microsoft will then be required to share a summary of those findings by May 2022 and act on them by the end of 2022. 

In statements given to both Grist and Tom’s Hardware, a Microsoft spokesperson stated “We believe customers are entitled to repair options that are safe and reliable. We currently provide customers with repair services that ensure the high quality of repairs, safeguard customers’ privacy and security, and protect customers from injury.”

It's too early to say whether this will mean Surface devices will be easier to upgrade in the future, but it's looking good. The Surface Pro 8 has a user-replaceable SSD that's pretty easy to access, so hopefully it's a step in the right direction for Microsoft.

Via PC Gamer

Read more...
08 Oct 2021

Ads have even invaded the Firefox URL bar now

After adding a new suggested search result feature to its browser earlier this month, ads have now begun to appear in the address bar in Firefox when US users search the web.

According to Mozilla, this feature was first introduced with the release of Firefox 92 back in September in order to fund the development and optimization of its browser. The company provided further details on Firefox Suggest in a support document, saying:

“Beginning in Firefox version 92, you will also receive new, relevant suggestions from our trusted partners based on what you’re searching for. No new types of data are collected, stored, or shared to make these new recommendations.”

  • We've put together a list of the best browsers available
  • These are the best VPN services on the market today
  • Also check out our roundup of the best proxy services

If contextual suggestions are enabled, Firefox Suggest will show links from its trusted partners directly under search results when searching the web from the browser's address bar. While these links could be convenient for users and will help Mozilla fund Firefox's ongoing development, at the end of the day, they're still technically ads.

Firefox Suggest 

After updating to the latest version of Firefox, the browser will show you a pop up asking you if you want to enable “contextual suggestions” or adjust your settings. While many users might just enable Firefox Suggest without actually knowing what the feature does, thankfully you can disable it after the fact.

To do so, you'll first need to click on the browser's hamburger menu and select Settings. From here, click on Privacy and Security in the sidebar and scroll down to Address Bar – Firefox Suggest. To turn off the feature, you'll need to deselect contextual suggestions as well as the occasional sponsored suggestions check box.

Mozilla has set its browser apart from both Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge by positioning Firefox as a more privacy conscious alternative. However, having ads show up in the search bar that leverage a user's location can be off putting for those who installed the browser for its privacy and security features.

We'll have to wait and see whether or not Mozilla continues its work on Firefox Suggest but until then, at least you can disable the feature in Firefox's settings.

Via The Verge

Read more...
08 Oct 2021

This Dell XPS 13 for $685 is the best pre-Black Friday laptop deal we've seen so far

We've just spotted what will easily be one of the best pre-Black Friday laptop deals this side of November - this 11th gen Core i5 Dell XPS 13 Touch for just $685.99 (was $1,049.99).

To get this price, simply use the coupon code 50OFF699 at checkout. That'll slash the price right down to a new record low for this model, which also features 8GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD.

Considering the premium looks, spec, and price of this Dell XPS 13, we'd say it's going to be very hard to beat this one when it comes to sheer bang for the buck, especially if you're looking for one of the best laptops money can buy.

It's a little more expensive than last year's Black Friday laptop deal on a Dell XPS 13 - which featured a 10th gen Core i3 processor for $649 - but this model is far, far more powerful. Having an 11th gen Intel Core i5 CPU is going to help you plow through a much wider range of tasks with greater speed - even the most intensive of work applications.

It's important to note that this is the baseline '(9305)' model, which essentially means it's featuring a slightly thicker bottom screen bezel than the latest Dell XPS 13 (9310) model. It does, however, still feature an absolutely fantastic 400 Nits display, quality build materials, and it's much, much cheaper ($300+ in this case).

Outside the US? See today's best laptop deals in your region just below.

Laptop deals: Dell XPS 13 lowest price ever

Dell XPS 13 Touch (9305): $1,049.99 $685.99 at Dell
Use code: 50OFF699 at checkout to knock a nifty $50 off this already discounted Dell XPS 13 today at the official store, yielding a whopping $364 off in total. This is quite simply a stunning price for a machine with an 11th gen Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD - specs that'll easily handle both casual and intensive work applications with suitable aplomb.

  • Dell - see all of this retailer's laptop deals and Dell XPS 13 sales today

Get ready for the big day itself with our handy guide to the upcoming Black Friday deals. Also, check out our main Dell XPS 13 deals page if you're looking for the cheapest prices on other models.

Read more...
08 Oct 2021

Screw the chip shortage – everyone’s playing PC Building Simulator instead (and it’s free)

PC Building Simulator is the latest freebie from the Epic Games Store, and it’s proving seriously popular, having been grabbed by over 2.5 million gamers on the store since it first became available for free yesterday, Thursday October 7.

In fact, it only took the sim three hours to hit the million mark, with a huge amount of folks following through and actually playing after snagging the title. Apparently the top number of concurrent users for PC Building Simulator has shot up by 1,500% compared to the previous all-time high, which is impressive to say the least.

Of course, the simulation isn’t a new game, and has actually been around for a few years now. A new career mode expansion is about to debut, though, and making the original game free is naturally tied in to ramping up towards that fresh content drop.

Right now, you can get substantial chunks off the game’s DLC too, with the Esports Expansion career pack selling at half-price, and there’s 10% off all the ‘workshop’ content (featuring brands like Asus ROG, EVGA, Razer and so forth).

PC Building Simulator will remain free until October 14.


Analysis: A welcome outlet for frustrations

It’s not really surprising to see PC Building Simulator rocket to a huge amount of downloads and new highs in terms of the player count. With the component shortage definitely still making its presence felt in terms of availability and pricing – particularly with graphics cards – a free outlet for frustrations that allows gamers to put together virtual rigs was always going to do well for itself.

We wouldn’t have guessed that it would do quite this well, mind; but then, for the princely sum of nothing, it’s obviously easy to take a chance on this. Also, it’s the kind of game that the curious will grab just to see what on earth the gameplay experience is actually like.

The other attraction here, of course, is not just being able to build a virtual PC, but a really tricked-out and cool looking one that you couldn’t afford in real-life even if there wasn’t a scarcity of some components.

Read more...
08 Oct 2021

BrewDog exposes data of 200,000 customers and shareholders

BrewDog, one of the world’s largest craft beer brewers, has exposed personally identifiable information (PII) belonging to more than 200,000 of its shareholders and customers, according to cybersecurity researchers.

Cybersecurity consulting firm PenTest Partners discovered that a flaw in the official BrewDog app, which persisted for more than 18 months, made it easy for anyone to access the PII of other users.

In its detailed report, PenTest Partners notes that the mobile app doled out the same hard coded API Bearer Token, which effectively rendered request authorization useless.

TechRadar needs you!

We're looking at how our readers use VPNs with streaming sites like Netflix so we can improve our content and offer better advice. This survey won't take more than 60 seconds of your time, and we'd hugely appreciate if you'd share your experiences with us.

>> Click here to start the survey in a new window

“It was therefore trivial for any user to access any other user’s PII, shareholding, bar discount, and more,” share the researchers.

The researchers say that, thanks to the flaw, any user could append the customerID of another user to the API endpoint URL to extract their PII and other details.

In addition to being damaging to the user, the flaw could’ve also been used to adversely affect the company since the leaked details could’ve been used to generate QR codes to get discounted and even free beers.

BrewDog started using hard-coded tokens with v2.5.5 of its app, launched in March 2020, before finally patching the flaw in v2.5.13 release in September 2021.

Lack of alerts?

Worryingly, the company decided not to reveal the vulnerability to its users, even after it was fixed, going as far as to claim that there wasn’t anything “too exciting in this release”.

Furthermore, PenTesting Partners says that, in its correspondence with the company, BrewDog claimed it found no evidence of the flaw being abused.

"We were recently informed of a vulnerability in one of our apps by a third party technical security services firm, following which we immediately took the app down and resolved the issue," said the firm in a statement.

"We have not identified any other instances of access via this route or personal data having been impacted in any way. There was therefore no requirement to notify users."

However, the researchers suggest that the nature of the flaw means its abuse wouldn’t have been apparent in the logs, making identifying misuse virtually impossible.

While the company had asked the researchers not to name them in its disclosure, BleepingComputer contends that BrewDog will be forced to inform the UK’s data protection officer, since PII falls under the purview of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

However, it appears the company disagrees. In a private forum post seen by TechRadar Pro, the company told shareholders it is under no obligation to report the incident to the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), as per the advice of an external expert.

"The ICO is very clear on this," the company wrote. "We have to notify when users' data has been put at risk. As this was a vulnerability report, and the only personal data that was accessed was that of the third party conducting the assessment, there is no requirement to notify."

BrewDog also took steps to prepare shareholders for a backlash that may arise as a result of the bug discovery.

"Vulnerability disclosure is a key part of the cybersecurity landscape and is a common occurrence. Many businesses invite this practice and offer bounties to those who find issues. Unfortunately, following the negative press earlier this year, this occurrence may be viewed publicly through a different lens."

TechRadar Pro has contacted BrewDog for comment.

Via BleepingComputer

Read more...
08 Oct 2021

Microsoft will make repairing its hardware easier – could it shame Apple into action?

Microsoft is going to make its hardware, such as Surface devices or Xbox consoles, easier to repair in the future, making repairs by a third-party independent repair shop – or maybe even consumers themselves, at least those who are techy (and confident) enough – an alternative to an authorized servicing outfit.

This is good news, obviously, when it comes to making repairs to Microsoft devices more widely available, and more competitively priced no doubt – with the move being made following pressure from As You Sow, a non-profit shareholder advocacy group which aims to promote environmental responsibility.

Grist reported that Microsoft has come to an agreement with As You Sow to make spare parts for its devices more available, as well as tools for repair jobs, and instruction guides.

Microsoft has promised it’ll investigate how to progress along those lines (in conjunction with a third-party), and evaluate the environmental impact of making devices easier to repair, further determining “new mechanisms to increase access to repair, including for Surface devices and Xbox consoles”. The firm will act on these findings by the end of 2022.


Analysis: A necessary move realistically – but still welcome

As You Sow noted that rival hardware manufacturers Dell and HP are already getting ahead of US repair legislation by “complementing their authorized repair services with the provision of some instructions, parts, and tools to independent repair shops”, and that “Microsoft has received substantial negative publicity for our products being more difficult to repair than those of these competitors and others.”

Therefore to some extent, this is pretty much a necessary move for Microsoft, given that legislation; not to say that it still isn’t welcome, and indeed it’s good to hear a commitment to realizing all this in not much more than a year’s time.

To be fair to Microsoft, it has already been improving the repairability of some of its more recent Surface products, like the Surface Pro X. And of course a fair bit changed with the introduction of the Surface Laptop 3, which finally allowed for (relatively) easy replacement of the SSD for example – moves like this can extend the longevity of hardware.

With Microsoft making further strides along these lines, perhaps Apple will start to come round more to this way of thinking – you never know. As Tom’s Hardware, which spotted this story, observes, Apple has already seen a similar shareholder resolution filed with it.

It’s worth noting that Microsoft reminded Tom’s that customers who go ahead and perform work on their devices themselves are voiding their warranty, and this wouldn’t change with these further reforms to the accessibility of repairs. Punters would still have to use a third-party repair shop if they want to keep their warranty intact.

Read more...
08 Oct 2021

SolarWinds hack may have been more damaging than previously thought

The SolarWinds hackers reportedly got their hands on information about counterintelligence investigations, the US’ policy on sanctioning Russian individuals and its response to COVID-19.

The campaign was widely publicized when it was eventually outed late last year. The US government pins the attack on Russia’s SVR foreign intelligence service, which denies any involvement in the campaign.

Despite months of investigation, which has identified several targets, including SolarWinds and Microsoft, there has been virtually no revelations about the intentions of the attackers. 

TechRadar needs you!

We're looking at how our readers use VPNs with streaming sites like Netflix so we can improve our content and offer better advice. This survey won't take more than 60 seconds of your time, and we'd hugely appreciate if you'd share your experiences with us.

>> Click here to start the survey in a new window

However, anonymous sources have now told Reuters that the attackers were hoping to gather intelligence on the US government’s decision-making policy.

Intelligence loss

Microsoft recently revealed Russia as a leading proponent for conducting cyber crimes using state-sponsored actors. 

In their annual Digital Defense Report, Microsoft shared that the SolarWinds attackers were digging for government material on sanctions and other Russia-related policies, along with information about the methods the country employs to catch Russian hackers.

Anonymous sources involved in the US government’s investigation into the matter revealed that they could see the terms that the attackers used as they combed through the US government files, and one of the keywords searched was “sanctions.”

Speaking to Reuters, Chris Krebs, former head of US’ Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and now an adviser to various companies including SolarWinds, said the combined descriptions of the attackers’ goals sounds logical. 

During the SolarWinds campaign the attackers managed to breach about nine federal agencies, read emails of various government departments, made away with confidential source code from Microsoft, and other companies, and more.

Despite all this, one of the people involved in the investigation went as far as to tell Reuters that the exposure of counter-intelligence matters being pursued against Russia, was the worst of the losses.

Via Reuters

Read more...
08 Oct 2021

Thousands of Gmail users targeted by Russian hackers

Google has notified thousands of Gmail users they may have been targeted by a state-sponsored phishing campaign reportedly orchestrated by Russian state-sponsored threat actors known as APT28.

Shane Huntley, the head of Google’s cybersecurity division Threat Analysis Group (TAG), took to Twitter to note that it had just shared an "above average batch" of warnings with around 14,000 users. 

“These warnings indicate targeting NOT compromise. If we are warning you there's a very high chance we blocked [the malicious message]," explained Huntley to anyone spooked by the warnings. 

TechRadar needs you!

We're looking at how our readers use VPNs with streaming sites like Netflix so we can improve our content and offer better advice. This survey won't take more than 60 seconds of your time, and we'd hugely appreciate if you'd share your experiences with us.

>> Click here to start the survey in a new window

He added that this month’s increased numbers are due to the persistent attempts from a small number of widely targeted, but eventually blocked, campaigns.

Detected and blocked

According to BleepingComputer, the campaign was detected in late September and accounts for a larger than usual batch of government-backed attack notifications that Google sends to targeted users every month.

Huntley went on to explain that the warnings are usually sent to activists, journalists, government officials, or people that work national security structures, since they are the ones who usually find themselves in the cross-hairs of state-sponsored threat actors.

In an official Google statement Huntley reaffirmed that "100% of these emails were automatically classified as spam and blocked by Gmail."

But then why the notifications? Huntley explained that the warnings serve as a reminder to people that they are on the potential hit list of threat actors and should keep their eyes peeled for suspicious emails, and take steps to fortify their email accounts, such as enabling two-factor authentication (2FA).

Huntley also shared that the team sends out the notifications in batches, rather than as and when the threats were detected, in order to prevent the attackers from deducing Google’s defense strategies.

Via BleepingComputer

Read more...

Find Out More About Us

Want to hire best people for your project? Look no further you came to the right place!

Contact Us